Sunday, April 08, 2007

Honeysuckle McColl fights the dastardly Mr. Whitehorse

Honeysuckle McColl was born in a lightning storm, sucking thunder from the sky with his first breath and locked it tight beneath his heart. He immediately grew six feet, gained three hundred pounds of muscle and horrible taste in clothing.
Pappy McColl realized that his son had a special gift and taught him the difference between right, wrong and just plain bad. This was accomplished through the heroes that count in a child’s upbringing: the superhero. Pappy knew it was pointless to give his boy such mediocre aspirations like being a fireman or a politician. Honeysuckle learned his goes-inta’s when he was six days old and then fought a grizzly for fun. He named the bear Boss Kitty and Pappy trained Honeysuckle’s new friend to be an expert Scrabble player.
Boss Kitty’s favorite word was “honeypants.” You may not find it in a dictionary or any book that records the written/spoken word, but Boss Kitty enjoyed it.

And you don’t ever argue with a bear named Boss Kitty during a game of Scrabble.
It’s just common sense.

Honeysuckle cared for all creatures, big and small, furry and fuzzy. Pappy’s only regret was his son found a collection of leisure suits left over from Pappy’s days at the roller disco in Dayton, Ohio, the nation’s fourteenth best roller disco city in the world and not much else.

However, Honeysuckle was far too large for a single suit, so Pappy and Boss Kitty started cutting and sewing for nearly three weeks straight. Of course, a grizzly bear and an old man aren’t the best tailors. In fact, it’s an impressive feat that Honeysuckle can even wear the mismatched, hodge podge of tacky 80s cool. But Honeysuckle wasn’t ready to save the world yet.

Now he needed his guitar.

Before we get any further, it’s easy to be confused by this point. In four paragraphs, you’ve been reading about a baby who swallowed thunder, became a giant, had leisure suits sown for him, teaches bears to play Scrabble and needs a guitar.
Well, if you were reading closely, you’d see it was Pappy that taught a bear to play Scrabble, not Honeysuckle. Also, that bear has a name. You inconsiderate jerk.

You really should be reading closer. There’s symbolism here.

And I’m sure you want to hear more about how the dastardly Mr. Whitehorse is planning to take over the world, enslave humanity and kick puppy dogs.
Unfortunately, Mr. Whitehorse is a senile old man. He runs the general store a few miles down from where Honeysuckle and Pappy live. This statement brings up a rather sore subject for the McColl clan, and explains why Pappy also taught Boss Kitty how to cook, clean, wear an apron and love.

Honeysuckle’s Mama was kidnapped 14 years ago when Pappy couldn’t afford to pay for a Charleston Chew at the dastardly Mr. Whitehorse’s general store. This brings up a number of questions, most of which revolve around continuity and timing.

We’re not going to address those since we don’t need to. You’ll find out.
Pappy and Honeysuckle spent the next ten years doing their best to live out in the woods, biding their time with cutting lumber and playing Boss Kitty in Scrabble. But one day, decked out in a fetching purple polyester number with orange trim, Honeysuckle slammed a fist into a tree. The tree was uprooted and flew thousands of miles away. It is still nursing the ass-kicking it received in Brooklyn (this is a failed attempt at making a literary joke.)

“Pappy,” Honeysuckle said with his booming voice, “how come Mama ain’t ever home?”
Now Pappy had spent nearly every waking day of his life coming up with a new lie for his son. The first time Mama was a traveling snake oil salesman, but Honeysuckle soon realized only men did that. Then Pappy told Honeysuckle that Mama was a hobo, but Honeysuckle couldn’t believe that his sweet old Mama was the root of all evil on the rails. Finally, Pappy sighed as Boss Kitty pulled up his easy chair outside.

“Honeysuckle, I’m getting to be an old man,” Pappy said. Actually, Pappy was in his mid-thirties. But you try living with a kid who became taller and stronger than you six seconds after being born.

“But it’s time you knew the truth. Honeysuckle, your Mama is being held hostage.”

Honeysuckle punched another tree. This time sending the unlucky piece of wood so high it cleared the atmosphere. But not even Honeysuckle could tell that the tree would hit a flaming space rock filled with bug-eyed aliens, thus sending it into the sun and saving the world.

“Pappy, you tell me who has Mama and I’ll go get’er back!”
And now came the hard part.

“Well, see, son, uh, Mr. Whitehorse.”
Honeysuckle spared the rest of the trees from his wrath and asked, “But where? I’ve been going by there ever since I was a kid.”

“Well, yeah,” Pappy said and trailed off. Boss Kitty went inside to fetch some tea.

“Son,” Pappy said, “this is going to be kind of difficult to take. And I don’t want you to be angry with me or anything.”

“Pappy,” Honeysuckle replied, “ I would never be angry with you. You’re my Pappy!”
Pappy sighed.
“Great, because your mother’s the Fender Showmaster with a Quilt Maple Top that Mr. Whitehorse keeps on the wall behind him.”

If you need a moment to think about the logistics that involve a man having sex with a guitar, now’s the time to do it. That’s pretty fucked up, right? Well, if that didn’t do it for you, think about this: the guitar was pregnant.

Honeysuckle took a moment to think about both of those things. Luckily, having the mind of a ten-year old means you’re not as freaked out when realizing your mother is in fact a Fender Showmaster. It’d be much worse if he was 16 or 17 and this would be a very angsty story filled with dark poetry and quoting Morrissey.

“See, son, Mr. Whitehorse once had a stack of Charleston Chews so high that it touched the moon and proved he could fly. I was a wandering guitar man, broke and hungry and desperate for a good Charleston Chew. He made me a deal. If I gave him my one true love, he’d give me all the Charleston Chews I’d ever want!”
Honeysuckle nodded. After all, who wouldn’t want all the Charleston Chews you could eat?

“But then he caught me, that charming man, in a paradox! Uh, that’s like when you continually do the same bad thing over again—you’ll learn that once you hit puberty, son. Because a man only needs one Charleston Chew to be happy, I was tricked! And your mother was taken from me!”

Now, honestly, how does a man have sex with a guitar? But that didn’t matter to Honeysuckle, who leapt to his feet and flew through the air toward old, dastardly Mr. Whitehorse’s general store to find his mother.
Pappy took a long sip of tea and put his arm around Boss Kitty.
“That’s my boy.”

Boss Kitty growled.

“Mm, quiet you or papa spank.”

Now, you ain’t lived till you seen a giant in a leisure suit flying through the air. And if you watched said giant crash through the roof of your general store, land in front of you and say “Give me back Mama” so loud that the loose, saggy skin around your face peels back and stays there—well, you’d say:


Much like the dastardly Mr. Whitehorse said, clutching his heart and falling to the ground. Honeysuckle awkwardly stood there with a dead old man in a dusty general store. Oh, and there was the guitar hanging on the wall with a tiny little sign that read, “Collateral until P. McColl pays back $.10 for Charleston Chew.”
Honeysuckle took hold of his mother and held her in the air, much like that old “Star Wars” poster where Luke is totally looking badass but is creepy because Leia is all touchy-feely with his leg. So, yeah, sort of like this moment.
“Guitar,” Honeysuckle yelled and shot forth into the air. Since then, Honeysuckle never went back home. He instead travels the land, guitar/mother in hand, playing psycho-fusion acid rock and righting wrongs. He’s also technically 12-years old now.
And he continues to fight the evil, as his bear-and-guitar fucking father taught him how.

But you can hear about that another time.

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